Oklahoma ( (listen); Cherokee: ᎣᎦᎳᎰᎹ, ogalahoma; Choctaw: Oklahumma) is a state in the South Central region of the United States, bordered by Kansas on the north, Missouri on the northeast, Arkansas on the east, Texas on the south, New Mexico on the west, and Colorado on the northwest. It is the 20th-most extensive and the 28th-most populous of the fifty United States. The state’s name is derived from the Choctaw words okla and humma, meaning “red people”. It is also known informally by its nickname, “The Sooner State“, in reference to the non-Native settlers who staked their claims on land before the official opening date of lands in the western Oklahoma Territory or before the Indian Appropriations Act of 1889, which dramatically increased European-American settlement in the eastern Indian Territory. Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory were merged into the State of Oklahoma when it became the 46th state to enter the union on November 16, 1907. Its residents are known as Oklahomans (or colloquially, “Okies“), and its capital and largest city is Oklahoma City.
A major producer of natural gas, oil, and agricultural products, Oklahoma relies on an economic base of aviation, energy, telecommunications, and biotechnology. Both Oklahoma City and Tulsa serve as Oklahoma’s primary economic anchors, with nearly two-thirds of Oklahomans living within their metropolitan statistical areas.
The Trail of Tears refers to the forced relocation in 1838 of the Cherokee Native American tribe to the Western United States, which resulted in the deaths of approximately 4,000 Cherokees. In the Cherokee language, the event is called Nunna daul Isunyi—“the Trail Where They Cried”. The Cherokees were not the only Native Americans forced to emigrate as a result of the Indian Removal efforts of the United States, and so the phrase, “Trail of Tears”, is sometimes used to refer to similar events endured by other Indian people, especially among the Five Civilized Tribes. The phrase originated as a description of the forcible removal of the Choctaw nation in 1831.
The Cherokee Trail of Tears resulted from the enforcement of the Treaty of New Echota, an agreement signed under the provisions of the Indian Removal Act of 1830, which exchanged Native American land in the East for lands west of the Mississippi River, but which was never accepted by the elected tribal leadership or a majority of the Cherokee people. Nevertheless, the treaty signed into law by President Andrew Jackson, was imposed by his successor President Martin Van Buren who allowed Georgian state troops to round up about 17,000 Cherokees in concentration camps before being sent to the West. Most of the deaths occurred from disease in these camps. After the initial roundup, the U.S. military played a limited role in the journey itself, with the Cherokee Nation taking over supervision of most of the emigration. (Read more . . . )
Oklahoma City is the capital of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. The county seat of Oklahoma County, the city is the 30th largest in the U.S.. The city’s estimated population as of 2006 was 537,734, with a 2006 estimated population of 1,172,339 in the metropolitan area. Founded during the Land Run of 1889, Oklahoma City was the site of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in 1995, the largest act of terrorism on American soil prior to the September 11, 2001 attacks and the most destructive act of domestic terrorism in American history.
By the time Oklahoma was admitted to the Union in 1907, Oklahoma City had already supplanted Guthrie, the territorial capital, as the population center and commercial hub of the new state. Soon after, the capital was moved from Guthrie to Oklahoma City. Oklahoma City was a major stop on Route 66 during the early part of the 20th century and was prominently mentioned in Bobby Troup’s 1946 jazz classic, “(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66,” later made famous by Nat King Cole. (Read more…)
Did you know…
- …that Tulsa is often considered the birthplace of U.S. Route 66?
- …that Oklahoma has the longest drivable stretch of Route 66 in the nation?
- …that in 1927, Oklahoma businessman Cyrus Avery, known the “Father of Route 66,” proposed using an existing stretch of highway from Amarillo, Texas to Tulsa for the original portion of Highway 66?
- …that Oklahoman Cyrus Avery spearheaded the creation of the U.S. Highway 66 Association, the organization that oversaw the planning and creation of Route 66, and he placed the organization’s headquarters in Tulsa?
- Nickname:The Sooner State
- Capital and largest city: Oklahoma City
- Governor: Kevin Stitt (R)
- Total area: 181,196 square kilometers (69,960 square miles)
- Population (2010 census): 3,751,351
- Date admitted to the Union: November 16, 1907
- Senators: James M. Inhofe (R), James Lankford (R)
- Representatives: Kevin Hern, Markwayne Mullin (R), Frank D. Lucas (R), Tom Cole (R), Kendra Horn (D)
The Scissortail Flycatcher, Oklahoma’s state bird
Francis Clement Kelley (October 23, 1870 – February 1, 1948) was the second Roman Catholic Bishop of Oklahoma. He was a Catholic Priest for 54 years, and Bishop for 23 years.
Kelley was consecrated Bishop of Oklahoma in 1924. During his years as Bishop, he successfully resisted the agitation of the KKK and continued his work as the “Extension Bishop.” Like other missionary dioceses in the country, Oklahoma received funds from the Extension Society to build and to furnish churches. In 1932 Bishop Kelley succeeded Bishop Joseph H. Conroy of Ogdensburg as Chairman of the Bishops Catholic Committee on Scouting. Under his leadership the Catholic Committee expanded to include 22 Archbishops and Bishops, one from each Ecclesiastical Province in the United States.
In 1934 the American hierarchy approved a “Plan of Cooperation” recognizing Scouting as serving the church’s interest in the spiritual welfare of Catholic youth, and approving it as an approved youth program in the Church. Bishop Kelly was recognized by the Boy Scouts of America with the Silver Buffalo Award in 1939, the first member of the catholic clergy to be so recognized. (Read more…)
- Lawmakers approve a bill that would make performing abortions a felony, and revoke the medical license of most assisting physicians, the first such proposed law in the US 
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